Term Paper: Athletic Scholarships Providing

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[. . .] I do not know if this is envy or not, but the high-level coaches have worked hard to earn their salaries and recognition, just like any other highly paid television figure. Non-athletic professionals have made proposals stating their prejudicesses against athletes. A couple of years ago, "a 28 member commission of current and former university presidents, other university officials, and private citizens, produced a report recommending shorter playing seasons, removing commercial logos from uniforms, requiring that at least half of the players on the team must graduate to be eligible of championships" (n a, December 2001). When discrimination or childishness like this take place on a professional level, it becomes mandatory for school athletic programs to do their own fundraising, because scholarship programs are effected.

The James L. Knight foundation made an impact on the funding of intercollegiate athletics, and dispelled some of the discrepancies.

"We have a lot of sports fans on our board and we recognize that intercollegiate athletes have a legitimate and proper role to play in college and university life"

(James L. Knight). Our interest is not to abolish that role, but to preserve it by putting it back in perspective. We hope this commission of those who want to curb the abuses which are shaking public confidence in the integrity of not just big-time college athletics, but the whole institution of higher education (Knight,

Page 8).

Inter-collegiate programs received a bad reputation and according to a Times Magazine article in 1988, athletic corruption was described as "an obsession with winning and money making that is pervading the noblest ideas of both sports and education." This type of attitude coming from credible sources makes funding and receiving scholarships a lot more difficult to get. The coaches, directors and athletic boards must work three times as hard to restore the reputation of collegiate athletic programs so that funding does come more readily available. In 1988, time magazine also reported that most Americans thought that college athletic programs were corrupt. However, the attitude of college athletics of the author has to do with which statistics are reported. Still, the majority of Americans feel that academics are neglected and that student's athletes are not fully rounded educated.

Fundraising to collect money for athletic scholarships is often turned into a fun event, and of course it is easier to get people with the same interest to participate in the event. Many times to raise money for athletic scholarships, the event consists of fun things, such as walkathons, marathons, danceathons etc.… It is only natural that athletic contributors will be drawn to an event that is fun and active. The trick to fundraising is to get people to associate participation in a fun activity to making a major contribution to helping keep their favorite athletic teams afloat. Creating fun and active events, especially for athletic scholarship participation, is most likely to be much more effective than having things like cakewalks, candy sales, or rummage sales. Although this is not to underestimate the previous success of these ideas in raising funds for athletic scholarships, this is just saying that active events or sporting events on a non-professional level would be much more effective.

In some instances, there may be some truth to this, but why does it bother people if the athletes give their athletic abilities priority over academics? This does not concern most people. Today especially, athletes are sacrificing marriages and children, the traditional family life to be able to play longer, and stay committed and dedicated to the performance of their skills. Many athletes today are playing competitively well into their forties and beyond, when just a few short years ago, athletes retired by the age of thirty five. So today's collegiate athlete, as well as the ones coming up, may never use the traditional education, because there is a possibility they will not need it. Retired athletes usually earn livelihoods by teaching in their sport, and the good athletes have more than enough customers who want to follow in their footsteps. Everyone is angry and putting their opinions in when no one on the athletic board asked for it. As said before, the average persons reality and the athlete's reality are two different things. Sometimes, non-athletes have a problem accepting this. It does not matter if it is jealousy or any validity to their complaint, I feel these critical people have too much power.

It also troubles some people that big-time collegiate athletes seldom graduate, and the numbers are increasing. Many people also claim that athletes are not working towards a worthwhile major. No one says anything of the business major who does not finish their degree when they get a fantastic job opportunity. How come these people are not pointed out like the athletes are? Sure, it is very honorable to have that certificate saying you have a degree, but the main purpose of higher education institutions is to make students employable. The universities give exceptional athletes experience and training, and if the athlete gets recognition and offered a contract straight from the college playing field, than that university has done its job. The educational institution made that athlete employable. Maybe in a few years, the athlete will go back and finish school, but if he does not, why is everyone so upset over this?

One of the first questions athletes get asked, "what are you going to do when you are forty years old?" Today, that has become a non-legitimate question. As mentioned before, athletes are playing professionally forever now, and furthermore, forty-year-old business people are getting pushed out of the job market, forced into early retirement, replaced with younger competitors. So the statement that athletes will no longer be able to play after forty because no one will take them, although no longer valid, but this statement can hold true for the secretary or flight attendant reaching into her late thirties and early forties.

In addition to the non-stop complaints against collegiate athletes, many people are complaining about the endorsements and advertisements displayed by college athletes, claiming that these students are being exploited. Advertisers cover the expenses to bring the entertainment that athletes provide. Advertisers also fund scholarships to these athletic programs so that they may have the best facilities, latest training techniques, and the best coaches. If these athletes are walking advertisements or being exploited, there is no shortage of eager athletes waiting in line and willing to give everything they have to be exploited and walking advertisements. Again, if the athletes are fine with this arrangement, what concern is it of anyone else's? Most athletes love the chance to jump onto a way to give something back in return to the people who funded their athletic collegiate career to help make their dreams a reality. By the time an athlete gets to be college age, they are old enough to decide for themselves what exploitation is.

The critics may not wish to contribute to the funding of college athletics, or feel that an athletic scholarship is all in vain, and they have a right to feel this way. However, they do not have a moral right to stop colleges from receiving funds and having scholarship programs to support their athletic programs. If it bothers them so much, they can turn the other way. Let the athletes live their lives.

Society will go to watch the games, for entertainment, and they love the feeling and pride that comes to not only their institution, but the entire community when the athletic teams are famous for record breaking winnings, but they very seldom appreciate the sacrifices these athletes make. Let's not forget that athletes, although competing for scholarships, bring in most of the money for the school and town, however they do not actually get the money.

"The big-time schools, the amount of money at stake divides the winners-those command the TV contracts -- and the losers, whose schools spend a great deal of money on their athletic teams but cannot win media attention. Athletes who bring in the money but see none of the profits also fall into the losing brackets while school administrations which actually receive those earnings gain an unfair victory. It is undeniably a flawed system" (n a, December, 01).

Fair or not, the NCAA controls the standards for collegiate athletes, and this encodes scholarship programs. Some of the requirements are a minimum level of academic achievement that the athletes must fulfill as a recipient of the scholarship program. If these academic standards are not met, and the athlete still receives the scholarship, the education institution stands a chance of losing the entire benefits of federal funded scholarships. It is the coaches and the school administrative's responsibility to see the student satisfies the academic requirement of the scholarship. For athletes to get selected for scholarships, they must let the coaches know… [END OF PREVIEW]

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